Liron Kliger

The craft of making beautiful, quality jewellery seems to be associated only with the luxurious brands with long history behind them that offer their customers breathtaking but rather classical and non-adventurous designs. For the experimental, colourful and a little bit crazy, there is the other side of the spectrum – an array of cheap, plastic accessories offered by popular chain stores. Liron Kliger, a London-based jewellery desgins breaks these unwritten rules with her bold and standing out designs.

Born in Israel, Liron attended West London College where she completed her foundation course before graduating from the London College of Fashion’s Jewellery Fashion Design. Thanks to her travels around the world and living in cosmopolitan cities such as Tel Aviv, Milan and Paris, the designer gained a lot of self-confidence, making her more fearless about the designs she wants to create. And this is exactly the perfect way to describe her jewellery – fearless.

Made for confident women with strong personality and an attitude, Liron’s designs are wild and full of extremes. Created using raw materials, the designer’s jewellery bursts with colours and patterns which gives it a cosmopolitan feel.  Liron’s bangles stacked one on another reminiscent travels and inspirations you bring with you from the different parts of the world but are definitely not one dimensional. Depending on way you decide to style them, they can be more hippy and earthy, raw and tribal or bold and modern, it is all up to you.

Look into your more adventurous side and let Liron’s designs inspire you not only when it comes to your personal style but also attitude – be fearless, not scared of change and standing out!  For more inspiration check Liron’s Facebook Page.

Interview: Lily King

In the past few months I have become a right sucker for jewellery and Lily King has really stood out to me as a designer to keep an eye out for. Her jewellery is simple and classic with prices that are barely eye-watering and unlikely to break the coffers and as a result, she has already caught the attention of online giant Asos where she is featured in the Marketplace area of the website (https://marketplace.asos.com/seller/lily-king). Lily also has an active Twitter account @LilyKingLondon and her jewellery can also be bought from www.lily-king.com.

Lily began making and selling jewellery whilst working in a little boutique on Portobello Road. Initially jewellery making started off as a hobby, but with her designs becoming increasingly more popular her shop evolved and grew into a much loved business. She told me that ‘this was great because I could see which of my designs were most popular with the customers and be there to eavesdrop on what they were saying about the designs, which was luckily all complimentary!’ Now, no offence to Lily, but I don’t think she was lucky to be complimented at all: when you demonstrate such talent, commercial awareness and understanding of what women want to wear, there’s no way you could possibly be vilified! I caught up with her on jewellery making, business and her favourite city, London…

What do you love about your job?

My favourite part of the job is the buying of course! I’ll buy loads of supplies and lay them all out on a big table and then pick and choose bits and pieces, seeing which colours work really well together – it’s very satisfying.

What kind of girl do you envisage wearing your jewellery?

The type of girl who would wear Lily King jewellery would be a minimalist with a love of colour and quirk!

What do you think marks you out from other jewellery designers?

I think my designs are unique due to their simplicity and dainty charm. They’re not high fashion pieces, so are more timeless and classic. I try and design all of my pieces to be perfect for everyday wear – the perfect day to night jewellery.

What’s next for you and your business?

At the moment, I’m looking into expanding a little with the online shop. I would like to start working with other independent designers and getting more accessories in the shop – mainly scarves and bags to start with. It’s very exciting!

What do you love about Britain today?

Apart from the fantastic weather of course? Mainly the amazing variety of London, you could never get bored living here! Also the beautiful countryside and great food!

Samantha Chong

When I received my student loan, I decided to treat myself through dangerously scrolling through the ASOS marketplace for some summer ‘must-haves’. Thank God I did, because I came across one great Liverpudlian designer Samantha Chong, and her versatile range of women’s clothing, jewellery and accessories.

Samantha Chong began her clothing line in 2009, and ever since she has watched her fashion career grow and grow. Currently working as a freelance wardrobe stylist for MTV, Samantha began her career trading vintage clothing and modernising vintage clothing. This experience in fashion and trading led Samantha to create her very own trendy fashion line. Through Samantha’s collections you can see that she has a fantastic knowledge of vintage clothing and of the fashion industry. Samantha has naturally received acclaimed recognition due to her alternative take on current fashion and jewellery trends. Although Samantha’s boutique does have everything from swimwear to nightwear, I personally think that Samantha’s line excels with her individual and versatile jewellery. You can clearly see that Samantha’s jewellery has not come from a huge factory in the middle of nowhere, and has been handmade and British-made. Samantha is not afraid to use bold colours, chunky jewels and call upon vintage and Aztec inspiration.  Samantha’s is defiantly one young designer to watch, and I’m sure in no time we will see her clothes and jewels on Hollywood red carpets.

To check out and to buy Samantha’s great clothes, head to;

The ASOS market place,

https://marketplace.asos.com/boutique/samantha-chong

Or to the Samantha Chong official website,

http://www.samanthachong.co.uk

Or check out Samantha Chong’s Facebook,

https://www.facebook.com/samanthachongfashion

Jing Jing Cao

Jing Jing Cao is a London based jeweller, who caught my attention with her BA collection. Jing Jing attended the famous arts and design college Central Saint Martins, and this artistic background and degree has clearly served her well. In every collection and piece of Jing Jing’s jewellery you can clearly see the artist craftsmanship and talent that has gone into every piece. Jing Jing’s romantic jewellery is delicately designed, and the balance of light and shadows highlights the beautiful detailing.

Jing Jing’s BA collection draws inspiration from death, burial plots and monuments that we build to commemorate loved ones lost. Although her inspiration is a little bit morbid, Jing Jing’s collection has elements of spectacle, modernity and deathliness, which creates a unique and regal jewellery line. The statement pieces are reminiscent of something that you would imagine Anne Boleyn wearing, with the extravagant and feminine headpieces and gems.

Jing Jing’s jewellery caught critical attention in 2009 with the release of her collection, MiCHELE. The MiCHELE collection won the Harold Hobbs Memorial Process Award and in 2010 the Cultural Activities Committee of the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) chose the collection for their exhibition, “The Real and the Virtual”. I caught up with Jing Jing to ask her about her jewellery and what its like to be an independent jewellery designer working in the creative industry.

 

How would you describe your style to someone who has never seen your jewellery collection before?

For my overall style I would say its coquettish jewellery that contains esoteric concepts, and carries out romantic prowess. For my BA collection, I would say it is a sculptural jewellery with an obsession with Victoriana, which steer well clear of any vintage aesthetic.

Where do you get your inspiration? 

I am inspired by the huge collection of Victorian masterpieces in the V&A, and how Victorian art bring in the effect of light and shadow. I have created my BA jewellery collection to interpret Memento Mori in a different way through reflecting the interdependent relation between life and death. As the life and the death reunite, the two main pieces of the collection can be worn together as one piece.

 Do you think your artistic background has helped you career?

All the artistic experiences and knowledge gained from my past has all contributed to my current fashion and jewellery career, especially during my days in Central Saint Martins. At Central Saint Martins I got to understood different directions and backgrounds of Jewellery and Accessories through research, and I got to establish my individual style and the ability to visualise images three-dimensionally.

 What would your advice be for someone who is looking to break into the fashion world? 

Be prepared to develop and explore new methods of production and to create fashion that challenges and pushes boundaries in fashion and lifestyle products. And also try to open up the mind of design into a new level to the fullest, and to attain as many zestful experiences as possible.

For more information about Jing Jing’s collections visit www.jingjing.co.uk or contact michelle_caojingjing@hotmail.com.

Ralph Masri

Ralph Masri is a Beirut born, but London based jeweller, who specialises in rich and bold statement pieces. Ralph has had one heck of an international upbringing, having lived between Lebanon, Canada, France and Britain. At the age of 18 Ralph moved to London to study a BA in Jewellery design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Ralph tells me, “I had always been drawn to art and design since childhood, and it was actually during my foundation year at college (Central Saint Martins in London) that I discovered my passion for jewellery, so that’s what I specialised in, and it’s what I’ve been doing ever since.”

After graduating from Saint Martins Ralph established his own jewellery line, which has been hugely successful. Ralph’s debut collection, A Trace of Lace, is inspired by beauty, intricacy and the sensuality of lace. Ralph comments, “my first collection was inspired by, as the name suggests, lace and floral patterns. My next collection, launching this summer, is inspired by Arabesque and Islamic architecture. So my inspiration really comes from anything.” Ralph’s collection uses vibrant colours and shapes, and clearly shows Ralph’s love for lace. Ralph’s necklaces and rings really caught my attention, with being bright and eye-catching because of their delicate, handcrafted design. The majority of Ralph’s pieces are centred with a beautiful colourful stone, such as amethyst or garnet, which really makes his jewellery stand out from the crowd.

Ralph clearly knows the intrinsic craftsmanship behind jewellery, creating regal, daring and simply gorgeous pieces. Although Ralph’s jewels are extremely rich and expensive, Ralph’s pieces can be worn both day and night. Ralph’s tip for all budding jewelers is, “you have something to have something that stands out. The competition is insane in this field and you really need to be able to have a unique identity that grabs people’s attention.” This is something that Ralph’s work clearly embodies. Ralph’s bold jewellery collection has not gone unnoticed, and he’s only 24-years-old! Ralph’s jewellery has been exhibited during London Jewellery Week, and whilst Ralph was only 20-years-old (and during his second year at Saint Martins), Ralph’s jewels were nominated for the UK Jewellery Award, making Ralph one of the youngest nominated! Although Ralph is the young new-boy on the jewellery block, he is clearly not one to be messed with. I am excited to see what Ralph’s career has installed for the future. Ralph is one to watch.

Go and check out Ralph’s beautiful jewellery at http://www.ralphmasri.com/ or head to his Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ralphmasri. And to buy some of Ralph’s beautiful jewellery, head to Wolf & Badger in Notting Hill, and on their website wolfandbadger.com.

 

Can you make a silk purse from a sow’s ear?

Aztec triangles, Labrador lockets, Scottish thistles, Stags and Octopus earrings…. sound amazing?! They are just a few items that Eilidh Strang hand makes under her business ‘Silk Purse, Sow’s Ear’. Her jewellery has popped up recently in almost every boutique shop in Edinburgh and is the essential, unique item for every girls jewellery box.

With no formal jewellery training, I’m amazed at the craftmanship behind Eilidh’s designs and production. Using mainly vintage materials – found and reworked – many of her items are limited runs or ‘one of a kind’. My favourites are the ‘Scottish Thistle Locket’ a perfect keepsake of Scotland, the Seafoam Triangle Earrings and the Swallow brooch (see images). She has something to suit all tastes from floral studs, Moroccon influenced rings to personalised lockets.

I asked Eilidh some questions about her work, her inspiration and her success…

What is your inspiration for your jewellery?

 My inspiration tends to be picturing the different ways that my jewellery can be worn.  I especially love the idea of my jewellery being ‘bunged on’ with an old jumper and jeans, without having to be dressed-up or styled particularly.  When I imagine my jewellery being worn by women, it’s always in a really casual, day to day way.  The idea of a lion brooch or frog locket making an everyday outfit just a little bit different is inspiring to me.

Was it easy to get your business started?

Fairly easy.  I’ve had quite a strong sense of where I’m going with my designs, and ethos more generally, from the beginning which I think helps enormously.  For instance, while I can see the beauty and simplicity in very delicate, silver jewellery, I still recognise that it’s not where I want to go with Silk Purse, Sow’s Ear.  Things have also grown fairly slowly and steadily since I started out, which has given me the chance to keep up!

How do you see your business progressing?

For the moment, I am happy carrying on as I am.  From the beginning I have operated by making the most of every opportunity I can, and just see where it takes me – I will definitely continue to do this and see where I end up!  For me, the most important thing is having the freedom to design and introduce new designs on an ongoing, weekly basis, rather than being restricted to a couple of ‘collections’ a year.  From the very beginning this has been a really important thing for me because it keeps things fresh and interesting – for me and my customers.  Selling online and in small, independent boutiques is ideal for this way of working, and I’m really happy with it!

What is your favourite piece?

At the moment, my favourite design is my Bee Hive Necklace (below). It just incorporates the two areas of design that I love best – clean, classic and wearable geometric shapes, with little element of fun to make it worth talking about. 

What would you say your biggest success so far is?

One of my proudest moments to date was being asked to sell in the Fashion and Textile Museum, London.  I’ll freely admit I did a lap of honour round my living room that day!

Seek out a one off item for yourself at www.silkpursesowsear.com or at Eilidh’s Etsy shop

You can also follow her on Twitter and  Facebook to keep up to date with new listings as Eilidh seeks new materials, vintage items and shares her quirky ideas.

 

 

Wolf and Moon

Geometric / bold / striking: those are the three things that immediately hit you when you see any piece from Hannah Davis’ handcrafted Wolf & Moon jewellery collection.

Graduating from Goldsmith’s with a degree in Fine Art only in 2011 Hannah soon moved to Brighton, and from there the label has already moved into being a really popular brand with independent jewellery shops across the country.

Talking to an assistant in Hannah Zakari in Edinburgh (one of the 7 British branchs that sell Wolf and Moon in store), she said that despite their current stock only being shipped in around a week previously almost all of it had gone already; and I must say whenever I have popped in (mostly just to gaze at beautiful jewellery my sad student bank account can’t afford) the Wolf & Moon section is constantly getting filled up with new items as the old fly off the shelves.

And that’s another rather lovely thing about Davis’ work: despite all being of certain Bauhaus-esque style each piece has it’s own unique appearance and charm. Very slightly variations of wood, Perspex and brass give each necklace or pair of earrings a feel of a ‘one off’ piece, but the continuous theme of strong shapes and simple patterns also mean you could combine different pieces without any sense of clashing.

From the range of broches, earrings, necklaces and pendants I must say the newest Garden collection is my favourite: it’s very Art Deco in style and with more complex statement pieces than the other Original and Inti collections.

And if you want to find some of her jewellery to see for yourself it should hopefully not be too hard to: the 7 shops which stock it are scattered from Glasgow to Oxford, and you only have to take a glance at her twitter feed to see that stalls selling her work are consistantly set up at an impressive amount of Vintage and art fairs across the country.

Another site I feel you should check out is Davis’ own fine art work; she’s done some absolutely gorgeous photography and some really lovely installation work, all with a strong theme of nature and mystery.

 

LINKAGE

Wolf & Moon

Hannah Davis’ fine art site

Facebook

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Twitter

 

 

Sour Cherry

Sour Cherry are a small independent jewellery company based in Sheffield who specialise in fun and quirky designs that are jam-packed with character. The adorable, affordable accessories are all designed and handmade by owner Kayleigh Walker and, because they are either produced from scratch or adapted from recycled items, are all guaranteed to be distinctive and unique.

Kayleigh works with a range of materials, including laser-cut plastic, shrink plastic, glass beads and ceramics, and the diversity of her designs is simply astonishing: just scrolling down the necklace section of the websites, you’ll be able to spot foxes, teacups, bananas, Pacman, gameboys, Russian dolls, cameras, keys, sewing machines, owls, James Bond, Liquorice Allsorts, glasses, elephants, Wayne’s World and bourbon biscuits. And that’s not even all of them, I’ve just run out of breath.

In the unlikely event you can’t find the design you want, you can even commission your own – contact Sour Cherry with the idea for your design and they’ll try and create it for you. Bloomin’ marvellous.

Bright, bold and bags of fun, and at prices not to put a dent in your wallet, Sour Cherry’s designs are hand-crafted delights. If you don’t have one, your wardrobe is lacking. Sort it out, why don’t you?

To check out the full range of Sour Cherry designs, or to commission your own, visit the website. Alternatively, follow them on Facebook or Pinterest.

Lizzie Kingdom

I came across Lizzie King’s dip dyed tassel earrings, while helping out a friend on a photo shoot, and instantly fell in love with her quirky designs. Her story began a year ago when she was commissioned to make a one off dip-dyed tassel for a photo shoot. She says “It was the first time I’d attempted to dye anything other than my hair but I became a tie dye enthusiast from that point on- since then I have sat through hours of tie dye tutorials”.

The Dalston based designer has now taken to using her dip-dyeing skills on to clothing, shoes and even running her own ‘Get Rich or Tye Dyeing’ workshops, which look ridiculously fun!

What I really love about Lizzie’s designs and talent is that they are so vibrant and fun and could add such uniqueness to your style. Lizzie recalls when her friend Jess wore the bright orange and yellow tassel earrings; a man on Ridley Road market gave her a free bunch of grapes as they made him so happy!

When I caught up with Lizzie she told me that “I love seeing people wearing them – especially as my customers so far range from 12 years old to 90.” Now with a broad customer market like that, I can only feel the Lizzie Kingdom brand will only be going from strength to strength.

To see more of the Lizzie Kingdom collection or even send her your old t-shirt to dip dye through her online service, visit her website:

http://www.lizziekingdom.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/lizzie_kingdom

Some of the dip-dyed tassel earrings are also stocked at Mint Vintage in London

71 – 73 Stoke Newington High Street
London
N16 8EL
U.K

Main images by http://www.lydiagarnett.com/

 

 

 

Finest Imaginary

Finest Imaginary make jewellery with a difference. The brainchild of Kim Lawler, it began as her evening and weekend hobby but proved to be so popular that she is now able to create her unique accessories full time. With a preference for birds, beasts, monsters and make-believe, Finest Imaginary’s pieces are enough to bring an air of colour and playfulness to any wardrobe choice.

Finest Imaginary’s pieces are largely made from engraved Perspex, though they are also increasingly working with etched wood. The delightful rings, necklaces, earrings and broaches come in an astonishing range of designs: books, bears, campfires, clouds, foxes, ninjas and Mexican wrestlers to name but a handful. As well as jewellery, Finest imaginary also offer cards, tees , stationary and prints, and like the jewellery these all too come in a range of fun and quirky designs.

To check out Finest Imaginary’s designs for yourself, visit her website. Just don’t buy the wooden fox pendant – I’ve already called dibs.

– Georgie